It would seem that Ted Cruz thinks so.
An audience member at a campaign stop in New Hampshire referenced New Orleans, still recovering from Katrina, and Flint, coping with poisoned water, and posed this question:
“If you were elected president, what would you do to help these important, struggling cities of our country to recover and become great again?”
Cruz immediately agrees that New Orleans is a great city (great food, amirite), and then directly says, of Flint:
“You’ve got your own government poisoning citizens. You look at the basic responsibilities of government—making sure our water’s clean is really near the top. I mean, we’re not talking rocket science here. This isn’t even broadband internet, this is ‘don’t have the water come out of my sink poisoned.'”
Have we discovered the one issue that can unite Ted Cruz, reasonable Republicans, blue dog and yellow dog Democrats, and even the Greens? Maybe even the libertarians? Even Ted Cruz, it turns out, believes that providing clean water is a basic responsibility of government.
So, does he go on to explain how he would immediately intervene to stop Flint residents from being poisoned?
Why yes, yes he does.
His argument goes like this:
Cities like New Orleans and Flint have one thing in common—Democrats. “One-party control of far-left Democrats for decades,” is how he phrases it.
He throws Detroit into the mix as another example of a city ruined in the same way.
“Detroit was the Silicon Valley of America,” he says, in the 1950s, with cushy jobs and robust per capita income, thanks to the auto industry. (Yes, I know we were talking about Flint and New Orleans, but Ted wanted to drag Detroit into it. Bear with him.)
What, he asks, has happened to Detroit in the past 60 years?
“Democrats have destroyed that city … it has lost more than half of its population in 60 years.”
Ted Cruz basically yadda yadda’d an incredibly complex socio-economic post-war transformation of American industrialism and skipped right to crime and boarded-up houses.
But wait, there’s more to his answer (“answer”) on how he’d make cities like Flint, where poisoned water runs from the tap, great again.
He lambasts Democrats for social programs, like free school lunches, that created generations of dependency. Because we all know how giving children a slab of meatloaf and a carton of 2% milk spoils them rotten.
His point is that Democratic policies created dependency and were huge failures that led to things like fewer auto industry jobs, Katrina, and poisoned tap water.
“What is the answer?,” he asks the crowd? “The answer is to go with the policies that work.”
I agree, Ted.
Please explain what policies will halt hurricanes in their tracks, provide enough tax revenue to maintain a complex network of levies, and prevent
far-left Democrats Republican governors like Rick Snyder from appointing city managers who try to save a buck by pumping corrosive water through aging pipes?
“Go with policies that encourage small businesses to grow and create jobs. Go with policies like school choice—I think school choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century—and I believe that every child has a right to access a quality education regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code, or wealth.”
“We’ve never had a Republican candidate for president who understands school choice, who believes in it, who campaigns on it … I’ll tell you, I intend to campaign in Hispanic neighborhoods, in African-American neighborhoods, in traditionally Democratic neighborhoods and say ‘the policies that have been foisted upon you for generations are not working. They are trapping your children, and there is a better way, a better way, to hope and prosperity.'”
So, hey, Flint. I know you’re thirsty.
You’re freaked out because you cannot even shower without worrying that the water will poison you through your skin while the steam poisons you through your lungs.
But what you need, you who are brown, who are black, who are Democrats, is a school voucher that will cover some, but not all, of the cost for your child to attend some, but not all, private and parochial schools.
Hopefully a school located somewhere other than Flint, so you can drink the water.
I am not kidding you. He really responded to a question about the criminal lead poisoning of an entire city by talking about vouchers and small business loans.
Watch and listen for yourself.